A Whole-Wheat Pizza That Doesn't Taste Like Cardboard

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Untitled-1Photo: Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen.
America's Test Kitchen — a real, 2,500-square-foot test kitchen just outside of Boston — is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Their mission? To develop the absolute best recipes by testing, then testing again (and again…) so you feel confident enough in the kitchen to cook everything from a simple, mid-week meal to an entire Sunday dinner party menu.

Most whole-wheat pizza is as dry and dense as cardboard. But, what if there were a way to make it as crisp and chewy as traditional pizzaand highlight its nutty, wheaty flavor? There is, and we figured it out. The key to a pizza with balanced, whole-wheat flavor turned out to be a combination of 60 percent whole-wheat flour and 40 percent bread flour.

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Thin-Crust Whole-Wheat Pizza With Garlic Oil, Three Cheeses, And Basil

Makes two 13-inch pizzas

Ingredients

Dough
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 cups ice water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
Garlic Oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
6 ounces (3/4 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese

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Instructions

For The Dough
Process whole-wheat flour, bread flour, honey, and yeast in food ­processor until combined, about two seconds. With processor running, add water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand for 10 minutes.

Add oil and salt to dough and process until it forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 45 to 60 seconds. Remove from bowl and knead on oiled countertop until smooth, about one minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to two days.

For The Garlic Oil
Heat oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add garlic, anchovies (if using), pepper, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and let cool completely before using.

One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack 4 1/2 inches from broiler element, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Shape each half into smooth, tight ball. Place balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic coated with vegetable oil spray; let stand for one hour.

Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat one ball of dough generously with flour and place on well-floured countertop. Using your fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Lift edge of dough and, using back of your hands and knuckles, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to well-floured peel and stretch into 13-inch round. Using back of spoon, spread half of garlic oil over surface of dough, leaving 1/4-inch border. Layer 1/2 cup basil leaves over pizza. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Pecorino, followed by 1 cup mozzarella. Slide pizza carefully onto stone and return oven to 500 degrees. Bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and partially browned, eight to 10 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through baking. Remove pizza and place on wire rack. Dollop half of ricotta over surface of pizza. Let pizza rest for five minutes, slice, and serve.

Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Repeat process of stretching, topping, and baking with remaining dough and toppings, returning oven to 500 degrees when pizza is placed on stone.

Want more? Take a peek at one of the team's glossies, Cook's Illustrated, or any one of their must-have cookbooks.
America's Test Kitchen — a real, 2,500-square-foot test kitchen just outside of Boston — is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Their mission? To develop the absolute best recipes by testing, then testing again (and again…) so you feel confident enough in the kitchen to cook everything from a simple, mid-week meal to an entire Sunday dinner party menu.